Reasons for the Collapase of the Soviet Union Research Paper

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As Winston Churchill once said, “The one who cannot see that on Earth a big endeavor is taking place, an important plan, on which realization we are allowed to collaborate as faithful servants, certainly will not succeed.” The Collapse of the Soviet Union is a large example of this quote being true. Emerging from the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union was a union of several Soviet states including Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Estonia, Lativa, Belarus, and many more. The USSR, at one point, was a global superpower in the 1900’s that was ruled by communism. Within seventy-four years the USSR went through an entire rise and fall. The country reached its height and became one of the most powerful countries in the world, along with the United States, but it also failed to reform its communist ways and completely fell from power. The Soviets went through seven leaders and accomplished some things have taken other countries centuries to achieve. Although much of this may sound like there was no reason for the collapse of Soviet Union and that it was completely random, there were also many factors that caused the complete downfall. Major causes of the collapse of the Soviet Union include poor political leadership of Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev, social uprisings within the union itself, and failed economic and technological advances to withhold to the increasing standards of other rising countries.

The poor leadership of Nikita Khrushchev and Mikhail Gorbachev, the third and last leaders of the Soviet Union, allowed the fall of the USSR. When Stalin died on March 5, 1953, the absence of an acceptable successor eventually put Nikita Khrushchev into power as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. As soon as Nikita Khrushchev came into power, he immediately began to denounce Stalin and change many communist policies that Stalin had put into place. This was known as “de-Stalinization”. “Khrushchev's de-Stalinization plan encouraged people living in Eastern Europe to believe that he was willing to give them more independence from the Soviet Union” (Spartacus). De-Stalinization was a horrible tactic of Nikita Khrushchev; it showed that he was weak. Weakness is a bad trait for a leader to have and a weak leader is bad for a country to have. Both Khrushchev and Gorbachev did not shoot down revolts quick enough and gave citizens too many ideas. “When the communist Party chose Gorbachev it had little idea of what he would do. He immediately launched a campaign aimed at transforming soviet society” (White History). Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies, such as glasnost, made him extremely weak. He allowed too many non-communist ideas into the country. With the entire country moving away from Stalin’s Communism, they began to adopt more democratic ways. “The USSR officially recognized the ‘democratic centralization’ method. In this, decisions taken by a party should be preceded by a free discussion and once a decision is taken, it must be given absolute and unanimous support” (Fitzsimmons, 308). “Democratic centralism” gave people the freedom to criticize which discredited many political leaders and gave citizens more power. Although Americans do not see communism as good, communism is what made the Soviet Union such a world power. Attempting to combine communism and democracy incorrectly is a bad thing waiting to happen. The pressures of keeping the USSR as a world power also put the leaders in a weak position. ”The soviet leaders feel responsible for the destiny of Russia, but to some extent they are influenced by the same geopolitical facts that ruined Russia before such as, Russian traditions, a lack of understanding of western values and ideas, distrust in diplomacy, and an inability to grasp anything in the way of an equal permanent relationship” (Fitsimmons, 369). The Soviet Leaders allowed the union to collapse because of their own doing, but it was bound to happen. The Russian...
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